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Mechanical engineering personal statement example 30.

I remember my first experience of engineering was when I was quite young. In year 2, a couple of students and I were taken to complete a project where we had to build a small cart out of household items and we competed against schools in our local area to see how far our cars could travel down a ramp. However, we didn’t do very well. Obviously, the reasoning was far above my understanding at the time but experiences like that established an inquisitiveness for the way the world works especially regarding engineering.

My interest in engineering and computer science has determined my choices at A Level as Maths, Further Maths, Physics. I also study Music as it’s one of my passions and am about to complete my Grade 8 Piano. I love problem solving; it is what engineering is all about. To develop my problem solving skills, I started attending further physics sessions in Year 12. Using Isaac Physics, we worked through higher level questions including mechanics. Motivated by these sessions, I asked my teachers to recommend some resources that provided a greater challenge and my physics teacher brought out a book called “Professor Povey's Perplexing Problems''. This has provided a great insight into the world of physics in general. Since joining The Royal Latin, I have also been selected to take part in UKMT Maths Challenges and British Physics Olympiads and receive bronze and silver awards regularly. I particularly enjoy these because they encourage thinking outside the box and develop problem-solving; they are part of the reason why I wanted to study A level Further Maths.

During Sixth Form, I put myself forward to join [Insert Sixth Form]’s student leadership team. Following a very rigorous and thorough interview process, I was selected to be deputy head boy. This role has enabled me to work with younger students, parents and staff. During the year I have developed my time management and organisational skills enabling me to balance my academic studies with this added responsibility. Taking parents and prospective students on tours of the school has developed my communication skills further and I’m very proud to be representing my school in this way.

I have taken the opportunity to complete my DofE Gold award whilst at school. I am a keen sportsman and enjoy sports such as swimming and cycling. For the service part of the award, I am a volunteer coach at my swimming club. Working with other coaches and talking to swimmers has definitely improved my communication, confidence and teamwork skills. Another one of my hobbies is computing. During Summer 2021, I applied for the CS50: Introduction to Computer Science course that is led by Harvard University on edX. While also studying C, Python and computing fundamentals, this course offered me an insight into how lectures and homework assignments are like at a university and gave me a chance to establish independent learning skills.

I took the initiative to arrange work experience with a company called EM Motorsport for a week. In this role, I helped to build the control panels for the Bahrain Grand Prix that year. This involved soldering wires to boards, building the control panel itself and briefly looking at the code. I particularly enjoyed the week as I’m interested in Formula 1 and the inner workings of cars. I’d also love to be a part of a Formula Student team and build and design cars . I enjoy watching videos on the topic and I am subscribed to channels such as Engineering Explained. Road cycling has played a big part in my interest in engineering and in particular the mechanical workings and aerodynamic saving. I enjoy researching newer technologies that are being developed such as the effort to decrease rolling resistance in tires, testing the sweet spots between aerodynamic design and low weight for hills. Therefore a degree in engineering or computer science will provide a good foundation for this and I relish the opportunity of studying for it at university.

Profile info

There is no profile associated with this personal statement, as the writer has requested to remain anonymous.

Author's Comments

I decided to apply to Cambridge pretty late (like 2 weeks before the deadline) so I can't imagine it's the best personal statement I could've produced but I'm still pretty happy with it. I was never good with writing but it does the job I think. If I could redo it, I'd probably include some more academic content and try to come up with a less cringy/cliche introduction. Not too hopeful about Cambridge (especially with the ENGAA lmao) but it doesn't hurt to try ig. Happy to answer any Qs! 3977 characters with spaces, 667 words.

Applying to: Southampton Bath Loughborough Cambridge Warwick (but for Computer Science)

This personal statement is unrated

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Mechanical Engineering Communication Lab

Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Criteria for success.

  •   qualified for their program, and
  • a good fit for their program’s focus and goals.
  • You show a select group of skills and experiences that concisely convey your scientific accomplishments and interests.
  • Your experiences are concrete and quantitative .
  • Your personal statement is no more than 2 pages (less if you can, or if it is required by the school).

Structure Diagram

The graduate school Personal Statement (≈ Statement of Purpose ≈ Statement of Intent) is a document that complements your resume and application form, describing your profile in a narrative way and convincing the admission committee that you would be a good match for a particular department or program. Take into account that matching goes both ways: they should be interested in you, and you should be interested in them. Your personal statement should make this match clear.

Analyze Your Audience

Your personal statement will be read by a graduate committee – a handful of faculty from the program. They’re trying to determine if you will be a successful graduate student in their department and a successful scientist after you graduate. They are interested in your qualifications as a researcher, your career goals, and how your personality matches their labs and department.

The graduate committee probably reads hundreds of applications every year. To make it easy for them to figure out that you are a good fit, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  • Make direct, concrete statements about your accomplishments and qualifications.
  • Create a narrative that serves as a personal brand and helps them remember you.
  • Give them some unique examples that describe you and make you stand out, and which will make them remember you as “that candidate that was so passionate about…” or “who has a lot of experience in…”, although they might not remember your name.
  • Align your academic goals and motivations with specific research projects or research directions of the target department. 

Assessing your match to the target program

A key point on writing your Personal Statement is to demonstrate that you have done previous research about the program to which you’re applying, that you understand its characteristics and objectives, and that you are really interested in joining it and willing to do your best to be successful in it. To do this:

  • Read the program’s website. Learn about its faculty members and the projects they are working on. Check what topics and high level goals the department is committed to. Identify the main research areas. 
  • Get in contact with faculty and students in your target program. Browse recent publications and presentations but remember lab websites can be outdated and a publication may lag a few years behind the active research in a lab so pay attention to the motivation, direction, and methods of the faculty member over specific results. If you have had a positive discussion with someone at the department, you can include in your essay how those interactions confirmed that you would be a good match for the program.

Reflect before you start

To convince a graduate committee that you are ready for and excited about graduate school, first you need to be able to articulate this to yourself. Earnestly reflect on the following types of questions. A lack of authenticity is easy to detect. 

  • Why do I want to go to graduate school? 
  • How am I sure?
  • Why will I be successful in graduate school?
  • What can I do with the help of this degree that I couldn’t do before?
  • Where do I want to be in a few years?
  • How am I going to get there?

Create a personal narrative

Graduate programs invest in the professional and scientific growth of their students. Get the committee excited about investing in you by opening your essay with a brief portrait of what drives you as a scientist. What research directions are you passionate about, and why? What do you picture yourself doing in 10 years?

  • E.g. “Graduate study is the first step towards my goal: I want to improve my ability as a researcher and gain more technical depth and breadth to maximize my impact. In the long term, I hope graduate school will better position me to be a leader in shaping the conversation about what problems can be addressed by mechanical engineers.”

Close your essay with a 2-3 sentence discussion of your long-term career interests. No one will hold you to this; this just helps your committee visualize your potential trajectory.

  • E.g. “Above all else, a MIT PhD would help me achieve my long term career goal of becoming a professor, the position in which I can best see myself accomplishing my mission to show others the hidden beauty in everyday life through science.”

Connect your personal narrative to whichever degree you are applying to (be it research-based or course-work-based, or a Master of Science, Master of Engineering, or PhD). Especially in mechanical engineering, each of these degrees will enable different career trajectories and provide different educational opportunities. Articulate clearly why the degree you are applying for helps you achieve your goals. In the same vein, consider mutual benefit: what will you contribute to the academic community over your time at your target school? Remember, it all comes back to “qualified match” , no matter what level of degree you are applying for. 

Describe your experiences

Experiences are the “what” of your essay. They are the most efficient and easiest way to prove your capabilities to the admissions committee.

  • What experiences led you to develop your skill set and passions ?
  • Where have you demonstrated accomplishment, leadership, and collaboration?
  • Show your depth with a range of experiences: research, teaching, relevant extracurriculars and leadership positions.
  • State concrete achievements and outcomes like awards, discoveries, or publications, or projects completed.

Achievements need not be limited to research projects or publications. Think about all the experiences that demonstrate your ability to conduct research and succeed within the structure of your target program. (Where have you demonstrated creativity? Self sufficiency? Perseverance? What open ended problems have you tackled? What enabled you to succeed at them?)

Quantify your experiences to show concrete impact. How many people were on your team? How many protocols did you develop? How many people were in competition for an award? As a TA, how often did you meet with your students?

For each experience you include, focus on how the experience affected you. Describe your actions, and always direct the message to highlighting your performance and growth (not how important the company was or how well-known the professor you TAed for is). Remember, it is not an essay about science, it is a personal essay—about you and how you have positioned yourself to succeed in graduate school.

Explain the meaning of your experiences

Meaning of Experiences

Your goal in sharing your experiences is to demonstrate that you have the qualifications, qualities, and drive needed to succeed in graduate school. Therefore, you will need to not only choose experiences wisely but also state specifically what they mean within the context of your application.

  • Why was this experience important to your growth as a scientist?
  • What did you gain from or demonstrate during that experience?
  • How will this make you a better grad student?

Even if it feels obvious to you, you need to explicitly answer these questions to your audience. Here are some examples experiences that have been expanded to contain meaning:

Contemplate how disparate activities can be unified into a common narrative about your motivations and achievements. Articulate this clearly to make your statement cohesive.

disparate activities example

Demonstrate your match to the target program

Using the research you did to assess your chosen programs, clearly articulate why you are a match . Consider both directions of the match: not only why you want to go to the school, but also why you would fit in well and contribute to the program.

State which professors in the program you would be interested in working with. Demonstrate that you have done your homework regarding the program. Show how their research areas align with your background and your goals. If you have had conversations with students or professors in the program, be sure to include that as well. 

Common Pitfalls

Write about you , not your role models. One of the most common pitfalls we see in the Comm Lab is students writing touching Personal Statements about family members or role models who have inspired them. There is nothing wrong with including personal stories about people who have helped you understand yourself better, or positioned you to succeed in graduate school, but it is important to tread very carefully. Don’t leave the reader wondering why they are reading about someone else in a document that is meant to be about you. If you take time to talk about someone who positively affected you, make sure to be very clear about how that experience with that person molded you into a strong graduate school candidate.

Be judicious with childhood stories. A brief mention of some childhood experience that shaped your interests in STEM is probably okay, but if you talk about it at length (more than ~2 sentences), you are taking up space that should probably be used to talk about who you are today, not who you were over a decade ago.

Don’t simply restate your resume. Your Personal Statement should be a technical document (having evidence, numbers, and supporting facts) with personal outcomes (talking about your motivations, ambitions, and ability to succeed as a graduate student). Of course, you will reiterate parts of your resume in your Personal Statement , but what uniquely makes it a “Personal Statement” is the discussion of how those professional experiences affected you , as a researcher and person well-suited to the graduate program at X University.  

Insufficient quantification of your experiences. We are all scientists and engineers; our line of work is inherently quantitative. Quantification is a quick and easy way to add context, lend credence to your experiences, and impress the reader. Even little quantifications can help: “I spent two semesters working on a project about…” is much better than “I spent some time working on a project about…”. See more examples in the section on Experiences, above.

Being a great student and having an impressive resume is only half the battle when it comes to graduate school applications. You need to be able to communicate and convince the committee that your personality and particular set of skills and experiences are well-suited to the graduate program you are applying for. This extends beyond graduate school applications: as scientists and engineers, we write papers and technical reports to communicate with our peers and convince them that our work is meaningful.

By reading this article, you have recognized the value of communication and are well on your way to crafting an effective and powerful Personal Statement. This is your opportunity to make yourself shine among all the other candidates, so make it count! You can do it!

Acknowledgements : This content was adapted from the NSE and CEE Communication Labs’ CommKits for graduate applications.

Resources and Annotated Examples

Annotated example 1, annotated example 2.

Student Good Guide

The best UK online resource for students

  • Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Examples

Find three examples of Mechanical Engineering personal statements that you can use as inspiration when writing your own. 

These Mechanical Engineering personal statement examples will provide you with insight into what makes a great statement and how to make your UCAS application better. 

Whether you’re a secondary school student applying to a mechanical engineering programme or a postgraduate applicant, we hope these examples will help you write a good personal statement that showcases your skills and passion for the field.

Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example

As a child, I always had an insatiable curiosity about how things worked. I would spend hours taking apart household items, trying to decipher the mechanics behind them. This early fascination with the inner workings of machines has continued to shape my academic pursuits and my personal interests.

Currently studying mathematics and physics, I am constantly intrigued by how these subjects can be used to solve real-life problems. The theoretical aspects of these subjects certainly interest me, but it is their practical applications that truly capture my attention. I am particularly drawn to the field of mechanical engineering, as it allows me to apply my problem-solving skills to real-world situations and phenomena.

My love for mechanics began at a young age, as I dismantled household goods in an attempt to understand how they worked. As I grew older, I became involved in repairing mini motorbikes, which I eventually became bored with due to their simplicity. Seeking out more complicated challenges, I began designing and building a large-scale, remote-controlled quad bike with a 49cc engine. This project has been a complex and highly rewarding challenge, allowing me to develop my practical design and engineering skills.

In recent years, my interest in mechanical engineering has matured into a desire to pursue it as a career. Reading books such as ‘Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing’ and ‘The New Science of Strong Materials: Or Why You Don’t Fall Through the Floor’ has given me an insight into the challenges faced by engineers when they design everyday objects. I am now committed to completing a degree in mechanical engineering and following a career in the field.

I am a resourceful and enterprising person who relishes a challenge, and these aspects of my character have been honed through my involvement in mechanical engineering and my part-time online business. Running a business has taught me to deal with problems and work efficiently and independently, skills that will undoubtedly serve me well in my future career.

In addition to my passion for mechanics, I enjoy designing and programming remote-controlled models, going open-water scuba-diving, mountain biking, and flying 3D aerobatics with a model helicopter. These pursuits reflect my love for creativity, adventure, and innovation.

I believe that my passion for mechanics and engineering, coupled with my strong work ethic and creative mindset, make me an ideal candidate for a degree in mechanical engineering. I am excited about the opportunity to further develop my skills and knowledge in this field and to contribute to the innovative and dynamic world of engineering.

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Best Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example

I was fascinated with building things and watching engineering shows on TV. From there, I chose A-Level subjects that would equip me with the necessary skills to pursue a degree in engineering. With interests spanning from biology to philosophy, and from art to technology, I saw engineering as a discipline that could satisfy and further develop my interests.

During my A-Levels, I studied Maths and Physics, which helped me to refine my problem-solving skills while increasing my theoretical knowledge. I am particularly interested in how maths reveals parallels between separate branches of physics. This has further solidified my decision to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering .

My first experience with engineering work was during a Christmas holiday, when I worked in a cycle shop, dealing with assembly, maintenance, and repair. This whetted my appetite for more. Every weekend since November 2003, I have worked in the warehouse at a Comet store, where one of my responsibilities is to deal with returned products. Working with faulty electrical goods has shown me first-hand the opportunities for improvement that exist across the field.

After finishing my GCSEs, I participated in a 12-week training placement at Chromogenex, a local medical engineering firm. I was fascinated by the experience and accepted an offer of employment with the company until I started college. My work at Chromogenex was varied, including production and service, and I was given significant quality control duties. One of my most interesting responsibilities was to write the Work Instructions and Procedures that production and service engineers will refer to as guidance to ensure that all products are of the highest standard.

In October 2008, I took a week’s work placement at Rhos Designs, a design engineering firm whose main client is 3M. I enjoyed the CAD work and the chance to take part in real projects, which will soon be put to use at 3M’s various sites across Britain.

One of my favourite hobbies is using CAD for my projects, which recently included drawing up a design for a competition in which I participated. The competition involved planning and designing a homemade potato launcher within a tight budget and deadline. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am already working on my next design!

In 2007, I was part of a four-person team working on a project on the EESW scheme run by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The project was an exciting task set by Corus at Trostre Tinplate Works. We were asked to design and build a solution to the problem of split edges in the cold rolling line. Our solution was effective and economical, and if adopted by Corus, could save the company thousands of pounds per hour, as the line would no longer need to be stopped to carry out emergency repairs. We designed and built a prototype solution, and a mock-up of Trostre’s SCADA system to demonstrate the solution’s potential. Our project received a prize for ‘Most effective use of IT’ at the Welsh National Convention of Excellence in Engineering.

Before starting my degree course, I intend to enrol in the YinI scheme, which should give me an in-depth experience of engineering work and help ground my subsequent studies.

Personal Statement for Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering has always been my dream career, and my experiences have only further cemented my desire to pursue this field. I have always been fascinated by the intricacies of machines, and how seemingly simple components can come together to create complex systems. My passion for cars has been a driving force behind my academic pursuits and professional experiences, and I am eager to take this passion to the next level by studying mechanical engineering at university.

Throughout my A Levels in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry, I was consistently drawn to the areas of study that related to mechanics. I was particularly interested in how mathematical concepts could be applied to real-world problems, and how physics principles could be used to explain the behaviour of machines. I found that my love of cars provided me with a unique perspective on these subjects, as I was able to see firsthand how these principles were applied in the automotive industry.

My work experience in mechanical engineering has further solidified my desire to pursue this field. During my placement at a contractor’s sister company, I was exposed to the world of mechanical maintenance and discovered the possibilities of a career in engineering. I was able to witness firsthand how skilled technicians were able to diagnose and repair complex machinery, and I was inspired by their dedication to their craft. My subsequent work placement at a car maintenance company was equally rewarding, as I was able to observe and assist in the basic engineering of cars. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of the inner workings of machines and reinforced my passion for mechanical engineering.

As I prepare to embark on my university studies, I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. I am eager to explore new areas of mechanical engineering and gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie the machines that we use every day. I am particularly interested in the areas of materials science and robotics, and I look forward to learning about how these fields are shaping the future of mechanical engineering.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I am committed to being an active member of the engineering community. I am excited to join engineering clubs and organizations on campus and to participate in hands-on projects that allow me to apply the skills and knowledge that I will acquire in my coursework. I am also eager to contribute to the field of mechanical engineering through research and innovation, and I hope to one day make meaningful contributions to the industry.

In summary, my love of cars and science has led me to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. My academic and professional experiences have prepared me well for the challenges that lie ahead, and I am excited about the opportunities that studying mechanical engineering at university will provide. I am committed to being an active member of the engineering community, and I am eager to make meaningful contributions to the field of mechanical engineering in the years to come.

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BrightLink Prep

Sample Personal Statement Mechanical Engineering (USC, Imperial)

how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field.

An NYU’s senior applied to 7 top Mechanical Engineering grad programs in the US and the UK and got into all but one. He spent nearly a month writing the perfect personal statement that he used to apply to top schools. Variations of this personal statement got accepted to Stanford University, Imperial College London, University of Texas A&M and UCLA. He has graciously shared his personal statement so that prospective applicants can benefit from it.

Sample Personal Statement Mechanical Engineering

I am eager to pursue a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering to deepen my knowledge in engineering design, mechanics, and analysis. My research interests are primarily driven by my life aspirations, dynamic undergraduate experience, and professional mechanical engineering expertise. Given my credentials, I firmly believe that I resonate with core values at [Name of School] and I will make an ideal candidate for this institution.

I cannot agree more with Dorothy Parker’s quote: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity”, as I have always been a curious soul and things that pique my interest stays with me forever. I remember the first time I watched a dense network of nuts and bolts in my dad’s car engine. I could not look away. The tiny moving objects aroused an unquenchable curiosity in me. Logically, I entered college as a major in sciences, eyes widened by the boundless world of science I had just begun to get to know. 

I did my undergraduate in mechanical engineering, where I was engaged in research about combustion, machine design, mechanics of materials and computer-aided engineering. Through this coursework, I developed a basic understanding of a breadth of theoretical areas of mechanical engineering and their socioeconomic applications. However, what I enjoyed most about being a mechanical engineer was developing my ideas through coursework and discussing them with my peers outside the classroom.

Outside the classroom, my advocacy for innovative ideas was well rewarded when the Student Section Enterprise Team (SSET) in ASME International, based in New York, elected me as the Student Regional Chair (SRC) – a prized position among mechanical engineers’ community all around the globe. So naturally, I was also the Chairperson for my own Campus’s ASME chapter, which I had laid the ground for in my sophomore year. I was elated to know that ASME International and my department showed trust in me, which I fulfilled in its true spirit. As a chairperson, I managed high-powered university-level competitions and conferences to induce collective synergies of mechanical engineers from all over the country. I also took the self-initiative of developing my juniors’ interpersonal skills and arranged several professional development competitions.

Based on my performance in class and leadership abilities as an ASME chair, I was selected by my university to work with the national defence authorities in designing a mechanically simple yet multipurpose unmanned ground vehicle for my final year project. I was mainly selected because I had a firm grip over software packages involving calibrations and simulations. 

The simple thought of working for the defence authorities excited me as it was an honour to work on such a classified project.

This assignment was my first formal parametric study in mechanical engineering, which was a thorough scientific investigation. As I became proficient in many programs and databases, notably through these packages, the calibrations I proposed for the vehicle were well received by my professors. Later, the defence authorities developed an actual model on those parameters. My final year project was the catalyst that sparked a passion for studying vehicles and vehicle designs, and I actively looked for careers in top automobile firms in my country.

I found an ideal opportunity to start my career as a management trainee in the Development and Quality Assurance Department at Tesla Inc. During my brief stint of three months at Tesla Inc., I was introduced to the vast world of manufacturing techniques employed in the automotive sector. As a trainee engineer, I optimized methods to get the least number of defective parts per million. The more I was involved in optimization, the more I developed a desire to understand design mechanics, which could be engineered to reduce energy consumption. As luck would have it, during one of the events organized by ASME, I was a keynote speaker at a panel involving energy consumption. In the same panel, the CEO of Chevron Corporation took notice of my ideas. After the event, he encouraged me to work at Chevron and work on my proposed fluid design and mechanics ideas to reduce energy consumption.

It was an honor to be offered a job at Chevron, which I duly accepted. As an associate manager for the past 18 months at Chevron, I’ve developed a dynamic skill set around supply chain, projects and maintenance departments. Through my work in these departments, I have honed my data analytics and the ability to draw meaningful inferences from raw data. I have also become adept at management related to engineering practices. I have strived to increase my knowledge base at Chevron by constantly exploring Maintenance & Operation manuals. Through these manuals, I have bolstered my knowledge of Turbo-machinery, Engineering Materials, Machine Design and Fluid Mechanics. 

Although my professional trajectory is burgeoning, while working hand to hand with the Engineering Design department, I strongly resonated with celebrated sportscaster Vin Scully when he famously said: “Good is not good enough when better is expected.” I felt that although my four-year undergraduate coursework provided a baseline theoretical knowledge, I needed to hone my learning and practical exposure to further my passion in the area.  During my work with this department, I was commissioning a new gas processing facility and felt way behind in design and problem-solving scenarios. I particularly struggled with interpreting compressor and prime mover big data. I realized that if I had a more advanced knowledge base in mechanical design and engineering information modelling, I would have been able to give better theoretically sound solutions and help with process optimization. Given these technical handicaps, I strongly feel the need to upgrade my current knowledge base through a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

While searching for programs that match my research interests and professional experience, the Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from [Name of School] tops my list for its numerous attractions. Firstly, the prospects of studying at [Name of School] are fascinating because of its location in California, the hub of tech-based research in the U.S., like driverless vehicles etc., and numerous opportunities for internships in world-leading firms. Secondly, [Name of School] satiates my desire to study in schools with top-notch faculty specializing in areas where I want to further my research. I am particularly excited about working with Ivan Bermejo Moreno and Julian A. Domaradzki on crucial research areas such as computational fluid mechanics and high-performance computing.

Thirdly, by taking courses related to engineering analysis and engineering design modules at [Name of School] , I am looking forward to gleaning more information on methods of Finite Element Analysis coupled with Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics. I want to learn more about mechanical system design concerning tribology. Ideally, I would like to further my current tribological research of skid vehicles by calibrating it to be adaptive to the implications of environmental, cost and safety issues. 

Lastly, having been a chairperson of an elite group of mechanical engineers, I am looking forward to enhancing my leadership capabilities. I genuinely believe that [Name of School] student-led design teams make this program stand out among other programs as they are an ideal platform where I can test and enhance the capabilities of my prototype vehicle and put it for wide-scale use. I am confident that the above-outlined graduate degree plan and vibrant opportunities at [Name of School] will accelerate my career growth after my master’s degree. 

After completing my master’s program, I want to start my career as a mechanical design engineer in a top engineering design company such as Stantec. As a design engineer, I want to work on different global projects and provide design engineering solutions to a portfolio of industries for their needs. Various projects for other industries would give me new challenges each time and thus help me gain experience to evolve my skills. Leading design firms worldwide will help me get up-to-date with the latest tools with their training programs focusing on continuous professional development. I am confident that [Name of School] brand image, dynamic coursework grounded in its state-of-the-art research facilities and renowned faculty will be an ideal conduit for achieving my career goals. I will continue to work in the field of mechanical engineering with the same curiosity that was sparked in me when I first saw the engine parts of my dad’s car.


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How to Write a Great Engineering School Personal Statement

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You have spent months researching and identifying the best engineering schools, studying for and completing the SATs, GRE, or other standardized tests, and filling out tedious college applications. You are on the verge of burnout when it hits you: you have to write a personal statement.

How important is it to write a great personal statement? Ask the admissions committee, and they’ll tell you that writing a personal statement is like applying for a job. Stephen J Aguilar, an assistant professor of education at USC, reported in 2020 to Inside Higher Ed that a personal statement should be less revealing and more persuasive. At its core, the personal statement needs to answer these two questions:

  • Why are you applying here?
  • How do your interests and experiences align with the program or the faculty you’ve identified?

However, the importance of reading and understanding the question prompts cannot be overstated. For example, the University of Iowa College of Engineering, which places 97 percent of its undergraduates in jobs post-graduation and currently has 284 master’s and doctoral students, goes one step further to differentiate personal statements from statements of purpose .

This institution wants to know in the statement of purpose , “Why is this program a good fit for you?” By contrast, the personal statement elicits answers to the question: “Who are you?” and allows applicants to explain themselves to admissions committees regarding academic achievements and life events that have shaped them and will positively influence the campus community.

That said, a personal statement is not just an essay. It has to be intelligent, engaging, typo-free, and capable of convincing admissions reviewers that you are a better fit for their program. Fret not. With lots of research and preparation, you can submit a college essay that reflects your passion and capabilities.

Read on to learn the what, the why, and the how-to of writing great personal statements to gain admission into engineering school.

How Is a Personal Statement Evaluated?

The title "personal statement" is generally synonymous with college essays. However, some admissions professionals use it to refer more specifically to written statements that explore applicants’ program readiness and intentions if admitted. The purpose of these statements for engineering school applicants is three-fold.

First, colleges want to know that they can write well, and not just from a technical perspective. Of course, grammar matters, but perhaps more important is the ability to communicate ideas.

Second, engineering schools want to know who a student is—the nuggets that are not conveyed through a conventional application or school transcripts. This is the written equivalent of the interview question “tell us about yourself” and is the applicant’s chance to share who they are, what they want to do, and how gaining admission to this program will be mutually beneficial.

Finally, colleges want to ensure applicants are familiar with and committed to the program. The best personal statements fulfill these goals, often in 700 words or less.

Does this sound like a tall order? Here are some tips for getting it right.

Six Tips for Writing a Stellar Engineering School Personal Statement

1. Do the research

It may sound simplistic, but one of the most important (and often overlooked) steps toward getting into the right school is taking the time to research a prospective engineering program, review its admissions policies and—this cannot be overstated—read and reread its application essay prompt. Candidates who don’t sufficiently answer an institution’s question or convey some misunderstanding about the prompt or its expectations are unlikely to be admitted.

Prospective students completing the Common Application should take the time to contact each engineering school they are applying to inquire about additional admissions requirements. The Princeton Review emphasizes that a personal statement should not repeat a previously discussed part of your application, nor should its information contradict another part.

2. Go deep, not broad

Personal statement prompts tend to be targeted. Engineering schools want to know what specific qualities or experiences make each student a good fit for their programs. Common inquiries include recalling a time you solved a problem, explaining why you applied, describing your academic goals and intentions, and addressing any extenuating circumstances that might have impacted your school record. Rather than offering a broad synopsis of your life, choose the experience or intent most relevant to the question and explore it in depth.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School offers advice for writing an in-depth personal statement for engineering schools using the “qualified match” approach. The steps include:

  • Make a statement that fits the essay prompt, like “I am a dedicated and hard-working student.”
  • Quantify your statement with specific details about your life. You might, for example, discuss how many hours per week you spend on school work and how you overcome any obstacles to committing that time.
  • Interpret how those details make you a stronger applicant. To continue with the above example, that might include writing about the knowledge you gained during your studies, your time-management skills, your passion for learning, and your commitment to succeed despite challenges.

3. Be relevant

If a personal statement has only one goal, it is to be shown to a review committee that you are the right fit for its school. That’s why applicants to Stanford University’s Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering are asked to specify their personal and professional goals in their statement of purpose, as well as discuss their developments and intentions for study and life beyond their doctoral program.

Read the mission statements of each program to get a feel for what they are looking for and keep that in mind as you write. Rather than getting carried away detailing the hours you log volunteering each week, discuss experiences and activities as they relate to your academic and career goals or scientific interests. Also, be sure not to waste valuable ink rehashing information available elsewhere on your application, such as extracurricular activities or your stellar GPA.

4. Avoid gimmicks and cliches

Did you love playing with Legos as a kid? Did those plastic bricks lay the foundation for your drive to be an engineer? If so, the College of Engineering at the University of Washington suggests you are in good company, but not in a good way. Every year, the committee reads personal essays on how Legos were the building blocks of a student's career in engineering.

To stand out, engineering school applicants should avoid using cliches in their statements. Of course, setting yourself apart from other applicants is imperative, but you must do so in a meaningful and unique way. Admissions review panels have seen it all and are unlikely to be moved by creative gimmicks and attention-grabbers that do not get to the heart of what makes you a great candidate.

5. Mind your mechanics

This tip refers more to the mechanics of writing than any scientific drive, though the latter undoubtedly has a place in an engineering school personal statement. Remember when we said one of the goals of college essays is verifying applicants can communicate effectively? Applicants should consider the following elements as they prepare their outline (more on that next):

  • Voice – Is your voice appropriate for the task? Is it too formal or casual? Are you using active language rather than passive and wishy-washy statements? Do you come across as academic?
  • Structure – Do your ideas flow logically and support one main idea? If you are unsure where to start, know that following the reliable five-paragraph essay format is perfectly acceptable: introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a tidy conclusion.
  • Length – Engineering schools usually have a good reason for requesting personal statements with a specific word count. Those that are too short have too little to say, and those that are too long are likely to repeat the same concepts.
  • Grammar – College students are expected to know and use basic grammar. Edit, edit, and then edit again.
  • Completeness – Have you addressed the admissions essay prompt in full? What about any supplemental school or department-specific requests?

6. Edit, edit, edit

Writing a personal statement may seem like a herculean task, so it is tempting to push it aside when you type that final period and not look back. This is a mistake—and perhaps the biggest one you can make. Sometimes we get so caught up in our thoughts and ideas that we miss lapses in our writing, whether grammatical or contextual. To avoid this:

  • Begin with an outline.
  • Write the first draft.
  • Write a second draft.
  • Read the essay out loud.
  • Review your essay again a day or two later.
  • Ask parents, friends, teachers, and others to read your work.

There is never any excuse for typos, and even the slightest error can turn a committee review member off. Ask a friend or family member to review your essay for grammatical mistakes when in doubt. It may be intimidating, but the process is an excellent way to identify missing words or ideas. What's more, applicants today are blessed with the power of technology. Online tools like Grammarly are free to use and quickly catch any glaring typos.

Starting Your Engineering School Admissions Essay

One of the biggest challenges to writing a stellar college essay is simply getting started in the first place. Personal statements are, by design, personal, and that can be intimidating. Applicants also put significant pressure on themselves to write the perfect essay.

Fortunately, many colleges try to ease the burden by providing tips online. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab offers examples of successful personal statements. Some engineering schools even post examples of successful personal statements, including MIT , Johns Hopkins University , and Cornell University . While your essay should be wholly original, these resources can guide you through creating a unique and inspirational narrative to impress admissions committees.

Aimee Hosler

Aimee Hosler is a long-time journalist specializing in education and technology. She is an advocate for experiential learning among all ages and serves as the director of communications for a non-profit community makerspace. She holds a degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.


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Writing a Winning UCAS Engineering Personal Statement: Ultimate Guide w/Analysed Examples

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Engineering Personal Statement: Why It’s Important

With careers in engineering providing  over 20% of the UK’s total economic productivity and with over one-fourth of its workforce working in engineering fields , it’s no surprise that some of  the best and highest-ranked  engineering schools in the world are located in the United Kingdom. So how do you get a spot in one of the best engineering programmes in the world? You need impressive marks, a good resume, and a stellar engineering personal statement.

Before we get to that, though, let’s back up a little and examine everything it takes to get into a good engineering programme.

Engineering Programme Prerequisites

Before you get ready to apply for an engineering programme at any university, there are  several prerequisites  you need to have met first. While these prerequisites may differ slightly from university to university, the majority of them should remain the same.

Completed Coursework

You must have, at a minimum, at least two A-Levels if you expect to get into an engineering programme. In the most popular programmes, you’ll need at least three, with grades of A’s and B’s in each. The exact entry requirements may vary, but they tend to range from CCC to AAA. Most universities prefer you to have ABB.

Additionally, one of your A-Levels needs to be in maths. A second A Level in physics is also encouraged for students hoping to study engineering at Uni. There are other courses that may be accepted in place of physics, such as other science courses, additional maths courses, or design and/or computing courses, but your safest bet will always be maths and physics as two of your A-Levels. If you don’t have an A-Level in maths, you may be required to take a maths and/or mechanics aptitude test before being considered for admission.

Vocational Courses

If you don’t have the required A Levels, another option you can use at some schools is to substitute vocational courses for them. For example, if you have Level 3 or Level 6 qualifications, you might be able to use these as replacements for the A-Level courses. These qualifications include the following:

  • SVQ Scientific, Technical & Formulation Processing (SCQF Level 6)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Engineering or Construction and Built Environment

It’s important to note that not all universities will accept these as substitutes for A-Levels, so check with each school individually.

Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering

If you’re interested in a biotechnology or chemical engineering programme, the required A Levels are a little different. Universities usually require two A-Levels in science or a Scottish Highers with either biology or chemistry as one of the subjects. Additionally, you’ll also be required to have five GCSEs that include English, maths, and a science.

Scottish Highers

The most common range for entry into Highers is between ABBB and AAAAB. The majority of universities require AABBB. If a university requests an Advanced Highers to supplement Highers, they most often ask for an AA.

Additional Qualifications for Admission

The only true prerequisites for admission into an engineering programme are those listed above, but there are some additional things you may want to have on your application to make it more memorable. These include relevant work or apprenticeship experience, volunteer experience, and personal references.

Applying for Admission

To apply for any undergraduate programme at a university in the UK, particularly an engineering programme, you have to fill out an application through the  UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) . If you’ve ever applied to a college or university in the United States using the Common App, the UCAS is very similar.

It’s a centralised location for applying to a multitude of different schools/courses, and you’ll use it whether you live in the UK or are an international student. The actual name of the application is the UCAS Apply. Once you’ve completed it, you can apply to up to five separate universities (or five separate degree programmes if you aren’t set in your engineering course) simultaneously.

Filling out the UCAS Apply: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: register for the ucas site.

This is a simple setup process. You’ll sign up by setting up a username and password. You’ll create some security questions in case you lose your password, and then you’ll be asked some basic information such as your name, birth date, and other personally-identifying information.

Step 2: Verify Your Account, Sign In & Enter the Rest of Your Information

After verifying that you really did create an account, you’ll be asked to sign in using the username and password you just created. Then you’ll fill in the rest of your personal information, including your residency status. You’ll also be asked about how you plan to pay for university and whether or not you’ll be requesting scholarships.

Additionally, you’ll be asked about any special needs you have or the accommodations you’ll need. If you have any type of criminal record, you’ll indicate that in this section. You can also give permission for an adult in your life – parent, adviser, mentor, guardian, etc. – to have access to your UCAS profile. This gives them permission to talk to university staff about you, your university goals, and anything else of note.

Steps 3 & 4: For UK Residents Only

If you’re an international student, you won’t be required to fill out steps three and four. (Note: Residents of the EU might possibly be asked to fill out step 4.) Section three asks about your national identity, ethnic origin, and occupational background. There are some additional questions in this section that are optional. These ask about your religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

You’ll also be provided with space to discuss your own, personal circumstances, especially as they relate to your ability to pay for and succeed at Uni. This could include information about your parents’ education or background, activities in which you’ve been involved, whether or not you’ve been in care, etc.

Section four isn’t always asked and only appears if questions in the personal details section have been answered a certain way. If they do appear, they’ll be asking about your finances.

Step 5: Choose Your Courses/Universities

In this section, you’ll be able to apply for up to five different courses and/or universities. This is where you choose what programmes you hope to be accepted into. You can only choose five though, so choose wisely.

Step 6: Provide Your Educational History

Here you’ll enter your entire educational history beginning at secondary education. You’ll enter your A-Levels as well as any vocational courses you’ve taken. It’s important that you list all of these exactly right, including the marks you received in each.

Step 7: Employment History

This is where you’ll attach your work resume. This is for paid work only. If you have any volunteer experience or other unpaid work, it’ll be listed in your personal statement instead. You can only list five places of employment, so if you’ve had more than five jobs, choose the five most relevant to the programme you’re pursuing (in this case, engineering).

Step 8: Your Personal Statement

We’ll discuss this in-depth a little later on.

Step 9: Review the Details

Once you’ve completed all the above-listed steps, you’ll have a chance to review everything. Review it thoroughly and make any changes necessary. You won’t be allowed to edit it once it’s been submitted.

Step 10: Personal Reference, Application Fee & Submit

Finally, you’ll need at least one personal reference. This should be from someone who knows you in a professional capacity, either from working with you or having had you in class. You’ll also be required to pay an application fee of £20 if you’re applying to only one course and £25 if you’re applying for multiple courses. Then you’ll submit the application.

Once you’ve submitted your UCAS Apply application, you’re all set. You can track it using the UCAS Tracker to see if your desired universities have received it. Then you wait for the university to reach out to you for more information, an interview, or acceptance.

Writing Your Personal Statement

If you’re applying to an engineering programme, you’ll be required to write a  personal statement  as part of step 8 on the UCAS Apply application. We can’t overemphasise how important step 8 truly is. There are very few universities that require you to write an additional essay or personal statement for entrance into their engineering programmes, so this is your one chance to get it right.

So what exactly should you write about?

There isn’t exactly a prompt for writing your UCAS personal statement. Under this same question – “What should I write about?” – on the  UCAS website , the answer given is simply, “You.” In other words, write about yourself.

The admissions team wants to know why they should give you a coveted spot in the engineering programme over every other applicant. You need to tell them why you want a spot at the university, but you also need to tell them why you  deserve  a spot  and  what it is about you that should make them want to  give  you a spot. This means showcasing your strengths, achievements, and drive to succeed.

In case you need a little more guidance, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get started:

  • Why are you interested in attending university, and what aspects of university life are you most looking forward to experiencing?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What first interested you in engineering, and what about it continues to interest you?
  • What experiences have you had, either in school or in the work environment, that would prepare you for studying at university?
  • Was there anything about your earlier education studies you found to be particularly helpful or interesting?
  • What do you most hope to gain from your time at the university, and what strengths and positive characteristics will you bring with you?
  • What makes you a good candidate for a position at Uni?
  • What elements of your future studies are you looking forward to most?
  • Have you taken any higher education courses already, received any awards or accolades, or been recognised for outstanding academic or professional ability?
  • What can you write about to prove that you’ve researched engineering beyond what you learned in your early education?

If you consider these questions and keep them in mind while writing, you’ll likely cover everything you need to cover to make a good impression on the admissions team. UCAS also provides you with this  personal statement worksheet  to help organise your thoughts and guide your writing.

Standard Engineering Personal Statement Length & Format

One thing to keep in mind while writing your personal statement is that it has to stay within a  certain character limit . No matter how much you have to say, you have to keep it under 4000 characters or 47 lines of text.

While this isn’t an exact word count, that averages out to approximately 500 words, which isn’t a ton of words. It’s about one single-spaced page worth of text. This means that you must be concise. You want to get in all the important information that’ll help your application stand out from all the other applications universities receive, but you have to do it without being too wordy.

Format Requirements

Worrying about the formatting requirements (double-spaced, single-spaced, font size, etc.) is unnecessary for your engineering personal statement because you’ll be typing or pasting it into a text box on the website. As long as your paragraphs are clearly defined and your font is easy to read, you should be fine on formatting guidelines.

However, because you only get 47 lines of text, it’s important that you  structure your paper correctly . This means breaking your personal statement into roughly three sections, with each section answering a specific question. For the sake of clarity, we’ll call these sections the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Now let’s break it down a little further.

A Brief Introduction

The introduction should take up about 15-20% of your personal statement. That’s approximately seven to ten of the 47 provided lines. In your introduction, try to answer the question, “Why do you want to study engineering?” You can talk about the experiences that shaped your love of the subject and the things about it that continue to interest you. You might even touch on why you feel it’s important that people study engineering at all.

Full, Rich Body Paragraphs

Your body paragraphs should make up about 55-65% of your engineering personal statement, or 26 to 30 lines. In these paragraphs, you’ll address the questions, “What have you done that has prepared you for this course?” and “Why do you deserve a spot in the programme?” This is when you go in-depth into your experiences, educational history,  relevant  employment, etc.

Other questions you may want to address in your body paragraphs are:

  • How have you cultivated the knowledge you need to succeed in this field?
  • What did you learn while preparing for this course?
  • Did you receive high marks in the classes relevant to an engineering course?
  • Did you win any awards or receive any other accolades?
  • What about your life experiences that has fully prepared you not just to enrol in the course but to excel in it?

A Brief Conclusion

Your conclusion should make up between 20-25% of your engineering personal statement, which is roughly ten to 12 lines. Here you’ll sum up your personal statement and bring it to a close. This is where you’ll add in any other extracurricular activities that might not be relevant to engineering but are impressive enough that you want the admissions team to know about them. You can also touch briefly on your future career goals in this section.

Other Things to Remember

One statement – five applications.

One of the most important things to remember about your engineering personal statement for your UCAS Apply application is that you can only write one statement, even though you could be applying to five different courses/universities. This means you don’t want to mention any specific university by name. If you do, the four other universities to which you’ve applied may think you aren’t seriously interested in them and disregard your application altogether.

Additionally, if you’ve applied to study different subjects rather than simply applying to five different engineering programmes, you won’t be able to focus your personal statement quite so much on the field of engineering. Instead, you’ll have to take a much more general approach to writing your personal statement, discussing your strengths in general terms as opposed to how they would apply specifically to the field of engineering.

Proofread and Edit

Do  not  submit your application and your included engineering personal statement without first proofreading and editing your statement. It’s even better if you can ask a  mentor, professor, or trusted friend  to look over it for you before you submit it. Having a fresh set of eyes looking over your paper is a great way to find errors you might have otherwise missed. Proper grammar and writing style are important, so don’t rush ahead without a proper amount of time spent editing and cleaning up.

The Website Will Time Out

Another important thing to remember is that the UCAS website will time out after 35 minutes of inactivity. For this reason, it’s better if you write your personal statement ahead of time in a separate document and then simply copy and paste it into the text box once it’s been fully edited and is ready to go.

Engineering Personal Statement Examples

Example personal statement 1.

“I hope a degree from your University will allow me to transfer key abilities from a place of study into, eventually, a place in industry. After much extended research, my admiration for the engineering innovator, Karl Benz, has been truly established. Commonly regarded as the originator of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine, his contributions to the vast domain that is engineering are simply colossal. One creation of his that captivated my mind tremendously was the ‘Blitzen Benz’; a vehicle fabricated solely for the purpose of speed. […]

Understandably, I am mindful that the finest engineers must possess a resilient skill-set, which should include the ability to thrive in both collaborative and solo tasks, flourish under pressure and blossom in positions requiring a leadership mentality. Hopefully, a place on this course will allow me to reinforce and augment my previously developed skills whilst allowing me to simultaneously acquire many more essential abilities that will prove beneficial in later life.”

– Read the rest  here

Although this excerpt is a little longer than we usually like to include, we had to include it. It’s just too impressive to ignore. First of all, you’ll notice the author refers to “your University.” This is how you should always speak of the prospective university in your engineering personal statement because it sounds personal, but it doesn’t call any specific school by name, which would alienate the other four universities to which you applied.

Secondly, the author speaks of his admiration for the engineer and inventor Karl Benz. This shows that he’s researched his field of study outside of what he learned in school. It shows he has a genuine interest and passion for engineering, which means he should do well at Uni. The section that’s been removed goes into more detail about the ‘Blitzen Benz,’ using language that shows he has a solid knowledge of the technical terms associated with engineering.

Finally, he smoothly transitions into highlighting his strengths. He mentions many of the qualities that make for a good engineer and then mentions he has those qualities. In the next section, which has also been removed for the sake of brevity, he talks a bit about how he cultivated those qualities. He also says he hopes his time at Uni will help further these necessary qualities in him, and then transitions into talking about his future goals.

It is a powerfully written personal statement that shows the writer to be an excellent candidate for the engineering programme.

Our Verdict:

Image of a star-struck grinning emoji

Example Personal Statement 2

“Engineers build societies. More specifically, mechanical engineers apply fundamental maths and physics laws to construct mechanical devices that we use every day, despite sometimes going unnoticed. For this reason, I would like to pursue a career in engineering, as it is such a key component in societies. It combines my fascination of how things work and the mechanics behind devices, with the ability to apply maths and physics concepts to real-life situations.

Studying Maths Mechanics at A-level has given me experience with calculus and more advanced mathematics, including differential equations, creating a firm grounding for the mathematics I should encounter at degree level. Physics has given me an understanding of fundamental notions and reinforced the mechanical aspects of maths […]”

his is another example of a well-written engineering personal statement. The introductory paragraph, in particular, is superb and covers everything that should be covered. The writer starts by highlighting why engineering is important to society as a whole. In doing so, she also demonstrates a solid knowledge of what engineering is all about.

She transitions smoothly into why she wants to become an engineer and mentions that she has a fascination with both  “how things work”  and  “the mechanics behind devices,”  which are two key elements for a successful engineer. In her next paragraph, she begins talking about her educational history, showing she has the experience and education necessary for a foundation in engineering.

Altogether, she presents herself as someone with passion, clearly defined goals, and a solid foundation that should allow her to hit the ground running when she begins at the university.

Image of a smiling face with heart-shaped eyes emoji

Example Personal Statement 3

“My desire to study Engineering stems from the practical application of Maths and Physics to real world situations to enhance and improve them is a field that I find fascinating and perplexing. After partaking in different engineering-based experiences, I learnt how varied and inclusive this subject is, and that is the reason I want to study Engineering at University.”

In contrast to the first two examples, this is an example of a weak engineering personal statement that wasn’t done well. This is the author’s introductory paragraph, and right from the beginning, it fails to paint the writer in a good light. The first sentence is grammatically incorrect and makes no sense as written. The paragraph is also much too short and vague.

Referring back to the common structure of a personal statement, you’ll remember the introductory paragraph should be about seven to ten lines long. This one is about four. It doesn’t have enough information on it, and the information that’s there is too general. It sounds like a child’s version of what an engineer does and why it’d be fun to be an engineer.

The student mentions  “partaking in different engineering-based experiences”  but doesn’t give any examples to back up that claim. Even his reason for wanting to be an engineer isn’t clearly defined. This is a weak, unmemorable statement that isn’t going to impress anyone on an admissions team.

An image of an unamused face emoji

Example Personal Statement 4

“My extra-curricular activities in and out of school have enhanced my ability to lead a group. I joined stem club at the beginning of year 12 and this has contributed to the improvement of my problem-solving skills which has helped me significantly in my maths modules and physics. […] I play the piano […] piano allows me to improve my thinking skills on the spot. My schedule is very busy and challenges me to manage my time carefully […] I am always challenging my own understanding and I believe that I have the right attitude, skills and personality for this degree. I feel that a career in engineering will make good use of my strengths.”

– Read the rest  here

Let’s look again at the typical structure of a personal statement listed above. You’ll see that the conclusion paragraph should be about ten lines long. It’s also a good place to list all the extracurricular activities that aren’t strictly associated with engineering but that you want the admissions team to know about you.

This author wrote a great conclusion paragraph. Although sections have been removed, you can see it’s close to the right length. Additionally, she uses the conclusion paragraph exactly as it should be used, listing all of her extra achievements she wants the admissions team to know. Beyond that, though, she uses these extracurricular activities as another way to show her strengths – strengths that would make her a good fit for any engineering programme.

She mentions having good leadership skills. She also talks about being part of a STEM (science, technology,  engineering,  and mathematics) club. She talks about playing the piano but then adds that her ability to play has improved her on-the-fly problem-solving skills. She talks about work and her busy schedule, but then stresses that this has helped her learn good time management skills.

Instead of just using her conclusion to provide a list of her extracurricular activities, she uses it as another opportunity to casually and naturally highlight her skills. She ends by saying these skills she learned in all these activities will serve her well in her future career as an engineer, which is a great way to end the personal statement on a relevant note.

Example Personal Statement 5

“During my school life, I have enjoyed taking part in sporting events organised by the French charity “Justice au Coeur” […] My extracurricular activities include athletics […] I also attended a scouts’ club in my neighbourhood, and have passed Grade 7 in drama. […]

I am a native speaker of English and French […] I have also studied Latin at my school for six years, and am going to take it as a subject at the French Baccalauréat.

One of my main hobbies is model rocketry. […]

I completed two weeks of unpaid work experience in a WHSmith bookshop in Wimbledon in June 2012. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.”

By contrast, this is an example of a writer who didn’t do a good job of adding in her extracurricular activities. First of all, even though it’s not evident here, this information is listed in this author’s body paragraphs, not her conclusion. These sentences, along with several similar ones that have been removed, make up  four paragraphs  of the body of her engineering personal statement.

She used  four paragraphs  talking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with engineering. She wasted those four paragraphs. All this information is nice information to provide, but it should have all been condensed into one small paragraph at the end of the personal statement.

Instead, she took the paragraphs that should have been devoted to what she’s done to prepare her for engineering and why she deserves a spot in the programme and wasted them on extracurricular activities that aren’t really relevant.

Remember: You only have 4000 characters to write your personal statement, and use those characters wisely.

Image of a yawning face emoji

To Sum It All Up…

The main things to remember when writing your engineering personal statement are to be truthful, be concise, and be authentic. It’s also important that you write a 100% unique, “personal-to-you” personal statement. It’s okay to look at other people’s statements for inspiration or to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, but there are severe consequences for plagiarism ( here’s a plagiarism-checker you can use ) and cheating, including having your entire application trashed at all the universities to which you applied.

Finally, make sure you dedicate enough time to the process. You want to plan your statement out ahead of time and have enough time to write it thoroughly and completely. It’s also important to save time for the  editing and proofreading stages  after you’ve finished your first draft.

Be specific when talking about your interests, goals, and strengths. Remember, this is one of the few times in life when it is okay to sell yourself. You want to make a good impression, and you want to be memorable. The more easily the admissions team can recall you and your engineering personal statement, the more likely you’ll get a spot in a good engineering programme.

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How to write a personal statement for engineering

Do your reading, be creative and work out what admission tutors are really after. Tips for writing a winning Ucas application

I f you're planning on studying engineering at university, your Ucas application needs to be structurally sound. Most schools don't offer the subject, so reading up on it is all the more important. Luckily, there's no shortage of material to stoke your enthusiasm.

"The range of things you might get into is almost boggling – you never know where it's going to end up," Derek Clarke, admissions tutor for civil engineering at the University of Southampton, says. "Engineering contributes in so many different ways."

Kathy Simmons, admissions tutor for mechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham, ideally wants to see evidence of enthusiasm – work experience, a headstart course, a placement or a few months in industry. But she understands that not everyone has these opportunities.

She looks for evidence of scientific and analytical thinking, and a practical approach, but said mechanical engineers don't all need to be good with their hands.

Simmons says she receives some unimpressive statements stating: "I liked maths and physics at school and I didn't know what to do next".

There's no need to have a career plan but have an idea of the sorts of jobs engineering can lead to.

John Robinson, a chemical engineer from Nottingham, who coordinates admissions across the engineering faculty, reiterates the point: "Really it's about making the admissions tutor aware that you know what the subject's about."

Talk about how your interest was sparked. Was it a university open day, chatting with engineers, or researching on the IChemE (Institute of Chemical Engineers) website ?

At Nottingham, Robinson says, the personal statement is only really important if your grades are borderline – so explain why and what you're doing about it.

Both Simmons and Robinson agree that it's difficult to craft a statement if you're unsure what area of engineering you want to study. It can be very off putting when students enthuse about electronics throughout, with a throwaway comment about mechanical engineering at the bottom.

But Chris Williams, a structural engineer who teaches at the University of Bath, receives too many statements from students sure they want to be civil engineers.

"Do schools tell students to display such certainty?" he asks. "In reality the most interesting students are torn between different subjects and would like to do them all. So, for me at least, some discussion of this in a personal statement is good."

And some courses – such as Warwick, Exeter and Aberdeen – offer general engineering until the third year, so your personal statement doesn't have to be specific if applying to these.

Sam Hewlings, who has a degree in civil engineering from Warwick and is about to begin a master's in tunneling, made his personal statement look like a journey which ended up in engineering.

Make sure you understand what engineering is about, he says. Don't expect to be building models or dismantling rockets and racing cars from day one – there's a lot of theory and calculus, with some business thrown in at the start at Warwick, he says.

TV shows like Mega Engineering are often unrealistic. "If you compress building a skyscraper into a one hour programme then it's going to look exciting," Hewlings says. He suggests subscribing to magazines such as Concrete Quarterly for inspiration.

As for style, Hewlings says not to worry too much. "You don't have to write essays for engineering but you do need an eye for detail so it's important that you get spelling and grammar right."

Engineers often work in teams and need to be good communicators, says Ross Woodruffe, 23, who studied aerospace engineering at Liverpool and now works for Airinmar, which supplies aircraft components.

Aerospace engineering is one of the more specific branches, so if you're applying for it make sure you know why you want to work in that industry, says Woodruffe, who picked the course because he originally wanted to join the RAF.

Most courses are accredited by the Engineering Council , so it's a good source of information to use, he says.

Try to avoid clichés in your statement – Nottingham's Robinson advises against referring to famous engineers like Faraday or Brunel, who are "all dead and long gone".

And you won't be the only student to claim your inspiration stems from the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Pick something more imaginative and personal to you, says Bath's Williams.

Different tutors look for different things. Sometimes it's best to contact them directly and ask for advice. While Robinson has no interest in reading about students' hobbies, Dr Kathleen Shennan, an admissions tutor for Aberdeen University, says she wants students to be well rounded.

"You are going to have to have some time out to do something else," she says, adding that you can learn a lot about someone from their extracurricular activities, including their ability to commit to something. "We want to know that they can cope with the stresses of being at university."

But it's no good just saying what you have done, talk about what you learned from it, says Shennan.

She often turns to the personal statement before looking at the course it relates to, to get a feel for an applicant's interests, so make sure you've mentioned engineering from the off.

With rapid technological changes, prospective engineers have an exciting future in front of them – make sure your personal statement reflects your desire to be a part of it.

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Successful Personal Statement For Engineering At Oxford

Last Updated: 3rd August 2020

Author: Adi Sen

  • Engineering

Table of Contents

Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it. 

Today, we are looking through an Engineering applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Oxford University. The Engineering Course at Oxford is based on a unified course in Engineering Science, which integrates study of the subject across the traditional boundaries of engineering disciplines.

Read on to see how this candidate managed to navigate the many disciplines of Engineering. 

Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement:


The universities this candidate applied to were the following:

Enrolling on our Oxbridge Engineering comprehensive Programme will give you access to Personal Statement redrafts. 

With our  Oxbridge Engineering Premium Programme, your tutor will give you regular actionable feedback with insider tips on how to improve and make your Personal Statement Oxbridge quality for the best chances of success.  

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Engineering Personal Statement

I have always considered myself creative; much of my youth was spent designing and building with my Dad in his workshop. I would read encyclopaedias on cars and watch design-related TV programmes such as BBC’s Robot Wars, analysing the strengths and weaknesses of each robot and thinking about how they could be improved. This background, combined with a genuine enjoyment of mathematics and physics, has given me a desire to read engineering at university.

Reading Marcus du Sautoy’s “The Music of the Primes” and Simon Singh’s “Fermat’s Last Theorem” has shown how individuals have dedicated their lives to solving seemingly simple problems. The main attraction of these books and mathematics more widely, is problem solving, which is also what draws me to engineering. Solving a wide variety of problems is something I really enjoy; in the most recent UKMT Senior Maths Challenge, I was awarded a gold certificate, also the best score in my year at school.

Studying physics at A-Level has helped me to understand the world, and answered questions I had as a child; why does a satellite stay in orbit? How does gravity work? Why does a clock pendulum keep in time? My favourite aspect of physics is mechanics, complemented by my maths mechanics modules. The application of physics and mechanics to engineering was obvious from the outset; it is a fundamental skill set which bridges the gap between science and invention. I also enjoy studying Further Pure Mathematics, in particular calculus, and am interested in how the solutions of second order differential equations apply to problems in mechanics.

Projects including designing and making a desk lamp, a torch and bench vice grips in GCSE Engineering gave me an initial insight into the discipline. The course gave me hands on experience with equipment typical of an engineering department. Considering the benefits of materials was important too; from an economic, aesthetic, and practical perspective. I also secured work experience at a BMW Mini Plant in the ‘Whole Vehicle Analysis’, section. One project involved heating up a Mini’s bonnet to address complaints from customers in hot countries that the bonnet scoop sagged. I used CNC measuring equipment and helped to write up one of a series of reports, resulting in an alloy being added to the scoop so it retained its structure. The week introduced me to engineering in the real world, the importance of quality control and precision and the cost of a company’s mistakes.

Aside from my studies, I have always had a musical interest and am working towards grade 7 piano. I completed work experience at the local ‘Yamaha Homeworld’ music shop specialising in top range digital pianos. I am constantly impressed at how a digital piano can look, feel, and respond exactly like a real piano. I like being part of a team and am a keen rugby and cricket player. Being elected as prefect and head boy has further helped me to work well, and get on with others, as well as improving my public speaking. This has been complemented by taking Grade 8 ‘Speaking in Public’ last year, in which I achieved a distinction. I now feel confident talking in front of large groups and being able to communicate my ideas easily. Reading Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From” discussed the theory that “ideas are generated by crowds where connection is more important than protection” and for me this epitomises the importance of team work and communication within engineering.

Ultimately, I would like to play a role in the future of our rapidly developing world; studying engineering at university will not only give me the skills to do this, but will also stimulate my passion for mathematics and science.

For more inspiration, take a look through our other successful Personal Statement a nalysis articles:

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Download our Free Personal Statement Starter Guide 

Good Points Of The Personal Statement

This is an excellent statement.

The student begins with personal reasons as to why they are interested in engineering, and by the end of the introduction, the reader is left in no doubt that the student is absolutely sure they want to pursue engineering at a higher level. The student successfully describes a range of experiences and interests covering several engineering disciplines and keeps the application general enough to be relevant to a general engineering degree. The statement is well-structured with a clear introduction, main body, and end.

Bad Points Of The Personal Statement

Although the student mentions several experiences/interests covering several engineering disciplines, they fall short of naming a specific engineering discipline that captures their interest.

Whilst this is not a requirement, naming a particular field of engineering as capturing one’s interest above other fields would demonstrate a level of decisiveness to the reader. Many universities do not offer general engineering degrees, and it is possible a student who is applying for engineering at Oxford or Cambridge will also make several applications to universities for specific engineering disciplines.

It is important to keep the statement general enough for applications to general engineering courses but also specific enough for applications to individual engineering disciplines. This would have been possible by stating an interest in a particular engineering discipline.

UniAdmissions Overall Score:

This is an excellent statement, one that is well-written and well-structured. The student’s motivation to study engineering is clear, although the student falls short of naming a specific field of engineering which capture’s their interest above all others.

Because of this one negative, we’re awarding this statement 4/5 stars. However, it’s important to note this rating is based on the overall strength of the statement. Although it had potential to be a little stronger, this had no impact on the number of offers the candidate received.

And there we have it – an Oxford Engineering Personal Statement with feedback from our expert tutors. 

Remember, at Oxford, the Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.

Check out our Free Personal Statement Resources page for even more successful personal statements and expert guides.

Our expert tutors are on hand to help you craft the perfect Personal Statement for your Oxford Engineering application.

With our  Oxbridge Engineering Premium Programme we help you craft the perfect  Personal   Statement , achieve a highly competitive PAT score and teach you how to  Interview effectively.

Discover our Engineering Programme by clicking the button below to  enrol and triple your chances of success.

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Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement

I am part of the 6% of care leavers wishing to enter higher education. My journey through education has been testing at times but, as a result of hard work, tenacity and determination, I am ready and eager to commence undergraduate engineering studies and shape my future.

I am a problem solver. I developed this skill at a young age through my hobby as a computer programmer. I completed tasks, such as, making a PHP system talk to a python programme and creating automatic encryption for the files on my computer. I have continued to hone this skill during my research concerning the mechanics of drones and the different concepts such as weight distribution. More often than not engineering concerns solving problems in order to design, construct and operate mechanical systems. I feel that I possess this vital skill that will enable me to tackle my studies with zeal.

I developed my interest in engineering by watching a YouTube channel by engineer Colin Furze. His videos consist of projects where he constructs contraptions, such as, a giant swing whilst relaying the building process. These videos provide insight into the engineering mentality, how to collect resources for a project and the art of effective communication. Colin’s thermite gun was, by far, my favourite project! Furthermore, for some time, I have played an engineering version of Minecraft called Voltz. This game involves different teams of players building bases and engineering advanced technology such as ICBMs, force fields, teleporters and space travel. Here I experienced the satisfaction that comes with completing a project.

More recently I experienced engineering disciplines in a university setting. At Southampton University , I attended ‘Isaac Physics’ events where teaching involved advanced Maths-like vectors, differentiation and circular motion in order to find the motion of planets around a solar system. I gained a real appreciation for the importance of maths and physics in an undergraduate setting and beyond.

In addition, I was accepted onto the University of Cambridge ‘HE+ programme’. Here I learned about Mandelbrot sets, group theory, dimensional analysis and how many cups of tea an atom bomb’s energy could make! Not only this, in April 2017, I attended a University of Cambridge Maths Masterclass. I attended lectures in applicable and theoretical maths, including cryptography, proof by induction and axioms of maths. This experience taught me that, at University, I will prefer my studies to include the application of theoretical maths to real life situations.

I consider that I will make a valuable contribution to University life. At college I have participated actively in extra curricular activities. As a member of the debating team I represented my former college in a competition involving local colleges successfully winning the debate ‘Should the government privatize the NHS?’. The ability to analysis a problem is essential in many aspects of daily life and I relish the challenge to refine this skill.

Secondly I was a Care Ambassador for Hampshire Country Council which involved being the focal point and advocate for children in care. I met regularly with a variety of people including senior managers in order to discuss concerns and pragmatic solutions. This role involved supporting other young people in order to help them remain in education. This role has inspired me to go to university.

Finally I was an LGBT ambassador at my former school where I helped facilitate an environment where people could feel comfortable. This involved working closely with other students and senior management in order to implement procedures that addressed bullying. It was by far my proudest contribution to my school.

Going to University to read a demanding subject, such as engineering, is particularly significant for me. It is a challenge that excites me and one that I intend to approach with enthusiasm and a robust work ethic.

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  1. Free engineering personal statement

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

  2. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

  3. Sample Statement of Purpose Mechanical Engineering

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

  4. Personal Statement Example

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

  5. 77+ Personal Statement Examples

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement

  6. Mechanical Engineer Personal Statement Example Personal Statement

    how to write a mechanical engineering personal statement


  1. 2016 Mechanical Engineering Exit Exam Questions with detail explanation


  3. Why I Studied Mechanical & Not Software Engineering

  4. How I Would Learn Mechanical Engineering (If I Could Start Over)

  5. Mechanical Engineering Technical Interview Questions And Answers

  6. How to Write a UNIQUE Personal Statement // Advice and Tips


  1. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example 30

    Applying to: Southampton. Bath. Loughborough. Cambridge. Warwick (but for Computer Science) This personal statement is unrated. I remember my first experience of engineering was when I was quite young. In year 2, a couple of students and I were taken to complete a project where we had to build a small cart out of household items and we competed ...

  2. Statement of Purpose for Graduate School : Mechanical Engineering

    The graduate school Personal Statement (≈ Statement of Purpose ≈ Statement of Intent) is a document that complements your resume and application form, describing your profile in a narrative way and convincing the admission committee that you would be a good match for a particular department or program. Take into account that matching goes ...

  3. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Examples

    These Mechanical Engineering personal statement examples will provide you with insight into what makes a great statement and how to make your UCAS application better. Whether you're a secondary school student applying to a mechanical engineering programme or a postgraduate applicant, we hope these examples will help you write a good personal ...

  4. Sample Personal Statement Mechanical Engineering (USC, Imperial)

    An NYU's senior applied to 7 top Mechanical Engineering grad programs in the US and the UK and got into all but one. He spent nearly a month writing the perfect personal statement that he used to apply to top schools. Variations of this personal statement got accepted to Stanford University, Imperial College London, University of Texas A&M ...

  5. How To Write an Engineering Personal Statement (With Example)

    Your engineering personal statement reflects who you are, and each candidate may structure theirs differently. Though the process is personal and unique to everyone, these are some steps you can take to create an effective engineering personal statement: 1. Creatively introduce who you are. The first paragraph of your personal statement is your ...

  6. Engineering Personal Statement Advice

    You will need to be enthusiastic about engineering and show evidence of this in the personal statement is the simple advice from University of Dundee. So, here are some ideas on how to do this: Work or extracurricular experiences: This doesn't necessarily have to be directly in an engineering field. Try and give examples of things you've done ...

  7. How to Write a Great Engineering School Personal Statement

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School offers advice for writing an in-depth personal statement for engineering schools using the "qualified match" approach. The steps include: Make a statement that fits the essay prompt, like "I am a dedicated and hard-working student.". Quantify your statement with specific details ...

  8. Engineering Personal Statement Examples

    A civil engineering personal statement, for example, fleshes out the profile that you're sending to unis; it tells them your skills, interests and ambitions. It tells them who you are. And whether you're working on a chemical engineering personal statement or a postgraduate mechanical engineering personal statement, the rules of writing ...

  9. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Writing Guide

    As you might understand, a mechanical engineering personal statement is not always about your major only - yes, you apply for a certain program but your personality matters. Step 2. Come Up With Your Topic List. The selection committee receives a huge amount of mechanical engineering personal statement examples annually. Just believe, most ...

  10. How to write a personal statement for Mechanical Engineering

    How to write a personal statement for Mechanical Engineering. We reveal the nuts and bolts of what to write in your personal statement for Mechanical Engineering. Think about what enthuses and inspires you about mechanical engineering - is it the people, products or technologies? Give a few examples about what or who has impressed you ...

  11. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement 6

    Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement. Engineers build societies. More specifically, mechanical engineers apply fundamental maths and physics laws to construct mechanical devices that we use every day, despite sometimes going unnoticed. For this reason, I would like to pursue a career in engineering, as it is such a key component in societies.

  12. Engineering Masters Personal Statement Sample

    Written by Jennifer Bevan. This is an example personal statement for a Masters degree application in Engineering. See our guide for advice on writing your own postgraduate personal statement. With an ever-increasing population, the upscaling of processes to efficiently mass produce food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals is essential to society.

  13. Best UCAS Engineering Personal Statement: Guide w/Examples

    Example Personal Statement 1. "I hope a degree from your University will allow me to transfer key abilities from a place of study into, eventually, a place in industry. After much extended research, my admiration for the engineering innovator, Karl Benz, has been truly established.

  14. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement 8

    Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement. Submitted by Tomas. After completing my final year of secondary school, I had finally realised my academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as the subjects I enjoyed the most. I felt that I exceeded at mathematics and the sciences, mostly due to my curious nature and ability to draw logical ...

  15. How to write a personal statement for engineering

    With rapid technological changes, prospective engineers have an exciting future in front of them - make sure your personal statement reflects your desire to be a part of it. Do your reading, be ...

  16. How to write a personal statement

    Answer the 'why'. 50-75% of your personal statement should explain why you want to do the course. Express your enthusiasm and motivation for the subject and tie it off with evidence of your knowledge, maturity and responsibility. Bridge the gap. It's OK to take a gap year, but if this is your plan, use your statement to share how you're ...

  17. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement 5

    Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement. Growing up, there was one focus that utterly fascinated my young self; automobiles. As a child, it was the more simplistic features of these engineering phenomena, such as exterior design, sheer speed and the roar of the engine that enchanted me so greatly. As much as those factors to this day still ...

  18. Successful Personal Statement For Oxford Engineering

    Good Points Of The Personal Statement. This is an excellent statement. The student begins with personal reasons as to why they are interested in engineering, and by the end of the introduction, the reader is left in no doubt that the student is absolutely sure they want to pursue engineering at a higher level. The student successfully describes ...

  19. How to Get a Job as a Mechanical Engineer

    1. Earn a degree in mechanical engineering. To become a mechanical engineer in India, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in technology (B.Tech) in mechanical engineering. An alternate route is completing a three-year mechanical engineering diploma course from a polytechnic college. To advance your career, you can go even further and ...

  20. Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement 9

    Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement. I am part of the 6% of care leavers wishing to enter higher education. My journey through education has been testing at times but, as a result of hard work, tenacity and determination, I am ready and eager to commence undergraduate engineering studies and shape my future. I am a problem solver.